Field Service Management, or FSM, is a helpful system for businesses that sell, buy, install, maintain, or repair equipment and other assets located outside the company premises. The common companies that use FSM are businesses that operate in the field, such as telecommunications, construction, property management, etc.
An effective FSM ensures that all resources for field work, such as employees and equipment, are allocated, inventoried, and coordinated. Thus, any company that needs to manage assets in multiple locations can also benefit from using FSM. It would help ensure that employees perform maintenance and other service work with optimal results and minimal resources.
Field Service Management Activities
Field Service Management aims to provide an organized and efficient system for workers or personnel who work outside the company premises. FSM involves the following activities:
- Scheduling – An organized and updated schedule for fieldwork is essential for the reliability of field workers or personnel and, ultimately, the assets they work on.
- Dispatch – Sending out the field workers or technicians to their assigned assets must be coordinated to ensure the availability of the necessary assets, materials, and tools.
- Technical Support – Field workers need the proper technical support to execute their assignments.
- Work Order Management – Field tasks and work orders need to be assigned to appropriate personnel, tracked on their completion status, and filed for future reference.
- Inventory Management – Materials, tools, machine parts, and other supplies need to be tracked to ensure availability when required for fieldwork.
- Contract and Customer Management – When field services are done for non-company assets, service contracts that apply must be managed separately from in-house services, i.e., services done on company-owned assets.
Effective field service management is crucial for businesses that provide on-site services. One of the primary reasons why field service management is important is that it helps businesses to streamline their field operations and improve their overall efficiency. The FSM activities listed above all aim to provide many company-wide benefits, including:
Less Downtime and Repair Time
An effective FSM sets a regular service schedule and accessible resources that effectively prevent or minimize waiting time for repair. In addition, FSM can ensure that the maintenance scheduler assigns the right personnel or technicians to the right jobs, resulting in faster and more effective repair or maintenance services.
Lower Field Service Cost
FSM provides an organized schedule, accessible resources, repair history, and expert technicians, resulting in faster services and lesser costs.
Better Experience for Your Team and Customers
FSM ensures a smooth and professional working experience for the service providers and asset owners. It can gather feedback from asset owners on the quality of service, gauging satisfaction or explaining failure if necessary.
By automating processes, optimizing schedules, and providing real-time visibility into field activities, businesses can reduce the time and cost associated with field operations. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and reduced costs, all of which are critical for business success.
Field Service Management Challenges
For FSM to be beneficial for your bottom line, you must overcome the following challenges:
- Scheduling conflicts – Managers who assign service assignments and their technicians can encounter scheduling conflicts due to miscommunication, disorganized reporting, etc.
- Technological limitations – Complex tasks such as maintenance scheduling, testing or data gathering, and other maintenance and repair tasks now require technologically advanced devices and software that managers and technicians need the training to use.
- High operational costs – Because FSM requires additional personnel and hours to manage and support field workers, the added operating cost can discourage the company from developing and improving its FSM system.
- Incompatible systems – A company that recognizes the importance of an effective FSM can implement several different FSM solutions over time. Making these solutions work together may result in more errors than solutions.
The Solution? FSM Software.
A Field Service Management software like Redlist can help you with the challenges in executing an effective and efficient FSM.
How Field Service Management Software Can Help You
- Improves communication by digitizing slow paper processes. This results in more accurate scheduling that you can update in real-time, fewer scheduling conflicts, and clearer communication.
- Helps with complex tasks, providing better access and compatibility with technologically advanced testing devices and software tools.
- Does not require hiring additional personnel to manage service providers and FSM activities. The initial cost of the software and devices is more cost effective than hiring managers for your technicians.
- Consolidates all existing FSM data, procedures, and other files from different departments and areas. This allows easy access to helpful information regardless of source and implementing systems.